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Marillion - Brave CD (album) cover





3.97 | 1123 ratings

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5 stars I feel I owe Marillion this, since I have only given them some 2-star reviews of minor items. Brave was several years my favourite prog album. Before it they had almost dropped out of my listenings. Indeed, what a leap it was from the dull and commercial Holidays In Eden! Especially for Steve Hogarth this was the moment of truth; both as a vocalist and as a lyricist he helped Marillion to reach new levels of expression unseen at the Fish era. His sensitive style is totally different from Fish's, as is the musical style of the whole band too. Naturally it can't please all old fans, but I believe the band feels more at home with Hogarth.

Brave is not an easy album to get into (or rather, you either love it or you don't), but one can really sense that it's done with the deepest dedication and ambition. It's a 100% concept album, telling a sad story of a young girl. And it's very dark and sad itself, asking for a specific listening MOOD with full concentration - with the lights off, as the liner notes tell. Probably it's the sadness that puts it off for some, and also the reason why I listen to it nowadays clearly less than in the nineties.

I won't go much into track details, there are many reviews here to do that. What I most enjoy in Brave are the dreamy, wavy instrumental sequences - the one in 'Goodbye To All That' and the latter half of the title track. 'The Hollow Man' may be the best sad ballad ever by Marillion. I also love the passionately melancholic chorus of 'Runaway Girl', the breathtaking Neo Prog of 'The Great Escape', the delicate and gloomy opening track 'Bridge', and the bright and fresh cathartic closer 'Made Again'. Yes, I must say this is one of the prog masterpieces of the nineties, no less.

Matti | 5/5 |


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